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July 2013

I'm a big science fiction fan so I've always hoped that time travel would one day be possible. Then I look at the calendar and think it's already happening. I mean, really, the year is halfway over. Just how did it get to be July without somehow magically skipping forward?! With time ticking away so quickly, we need to act now to take advantage of tax moves that could help reduce our upcoming 2013 tax bill. Here are six easy tax tasks to take care of this month. 1. Adjust your withholding Long-time readers know that I preach and preach... Read more →

Would a $1,000 payoff make you quit complaining about mistreatment by the Internal Revenue Service? That's an idea National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has revived in her 2013 mid-year report to Congress. The statutorily mandated report spells out the priority issues that the Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) will address during the upcoming fiscal year. In this latest issues assessment, Olson adds her thoughts to the continuing investigation into the IRS' handling of applications for 510(c)(4) tax-exempt status. This designation is sought by groups to save them tax payments and also keep their donors secret. But to qualify, most of their... Read more →

Anyone who has gone head-to-head with an auditor has probably felt like the examiner was staring straight into their tax-paying soul. They were right. A German scientist says that tax investigators have a sixth sense that makes it easier for them to sniff out tax evasion. And that disconcerting finding makes six this week's By the Numbers figure. "It is already known in psychology that, for example, drug squad officers use unconscious learning processes to collect experience-based knowledge of how to identify suspects who then turn out, after checks, to be drug smugglers," said Enrico Schöbel of the Institute for... Read more →